Stage Manager is not a novelty reserved for macOS Ventura, it is also available on iPadOS 16! On paper, this idea of completely revamping multitasking and rethinking the way people work on a computer even looks like an idea that could have originated on the tablet and carried over to computers, not the other way around. Whatever the origin of this novelty, it can profoundly change the use of Apple, Mac and iPad devices.
Preview of Stage Manager on macOS Ventura: a new way to organize your windows
Note to begin with that all the functions presented in this article are reserved for a very limited number of iPads. Only models equipped with an M1 chip are compatible with Stage Manager and with the improved management of external screens… that is to say only three iPads:
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro 5th generation (2021);
- 11-inch iPad Pro 3rd generation (2021);
- 5th generation iPad Air (2022).
Apple justified this choice by the use of the swap, a technique that allows you to go beyond the physical RAM present in the device, and by a technical specificity of the Apple M1 chip that allows you to benefit from it. As often, the manufacturer has favored performance to the detriment of broad compatibility.
Apple explains why Stage Manager is only available on iPad M1s
Stage Manager on the iPad alone
By default, Stage Manager is not active on iPadOS 16, you will need to enable it yourself from Control Center. A new icon is displayed at the bottom of this interface and a tap activates the new mode. The app that was displayed in full screen then switches to windowed mode, above the iPadOS dock and with recently opened apps aligned on the left side of the screen.
From the moment you are in this mode, apps always open in a window. You can switch from one app to another by touching its thumbnail on the left side, but those you launch via the Dock, the home screen, Spotlight or via the keyboard shortcut
⌘⇥ all open the same way. You can always return to the home screen, which is equivalent to leaving Stage Manager, but the function takes over when an app is active.
This is the first time that iPadOS has integrated windows and even if they offer less flexibility than on macOS, they can still be resized. A small black line is displayed in a bottom corner (sometimes on the right, sometimes on the left, with a logic that escapes me) of the windows whose size can be modified. Tap it to start adjusting the window dimensions, within the constraints imposed by the system. You can basically go down to the width of an iPhone or on the contrary revert the app to full screen through this. When a window takes up too much space, iPadOS 16 first hides the stacks list on the left, then the Dock at the bottom.